You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt worried, stressed out, or anxious. Anxiety is nearly a requirement of living in an interconnected and postmodern world. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental problem in the US, affecting 40 million people annually. And millions of them successfully manage their anxiety with natural remedies. In this post, we will look at some of the most accessible natural tips to ease anxiety and how you can practice them.
Where Does Anxiety Come From And What Does It Do?
There’s a lot wrapped up in anxiety for such a simple feeling. It’s equal parts physiological and mental, a result of both your body’s natural responses and your own learned triggers. In nature, it serves to trigger a “fight or flight” response. As a result, anxiety is a critical component of the human survival instinct on a base level.
Anxiety: What It Feels Like
As anyone who’s experienced a panic attack knows, anxiety isn’t a pleasant sensation. Anxiety causes a general, malignant air of unease that permeates the thoughts and feelings of those who experience it.
Anxiety can present itself in an endless number of ways. Sometimes, they may experience physical symptoms like increased heart rate or breathing. They may also feel “paralyzed” by worry. Mental symptoms usually show up, too, including restlessness, fear, and trouble concentrating. However, not all anxiety feels this way. That’s one problem that makes it so difficult to recognize and deal with.
Everyone experiences a little bit of anxiety from time to time. But for some people, the sensation can become so excessive that it interferes with their daily lives. That’s when anxiety approaches a full-fledged disorder. Some anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
When worrying about everyday life and events (like work, school, family, or money) becomes excessive. Experts estimate about 2 percent of Americans (4 million) suffer from generalized anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Fear arising from specific or all social interactions. Talking to a cashier, meeting new people, eating or drinking in front of others, or using public bathrooms can all trigger social anxiety. It appears to be pretty common, affecting 7 percent of Americans.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety triggered by a specific traumatic, shocking, or dangerous situation. PTSD usually begins within 3 months of the event and may cause nightmares, flashbacks, or disturbing thoughts. About 7 percent of people may experience PTSD at some point in their lives.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Being obsessed with a thought (like fear of germs) or behavior (like handwashing). Between 1% and 2% of Americans have PTSD, according to some experts.
Sometimes, specific things or situations can trigger an anxiety attack. For example, many people fear heights or small, enclosed places. In contrast, some phobias are extremely rare. For example, a much smaller number of people fear going to bed or seeing the sun.
Natural Tips To Ease Anxiety
When we feel anxiety in the wrong situation, it can lead to problems. You don’t want to have a panic attack in the grocery store – that’s not a “fight or flight” situation. That’s why it’s so important to have the right tools to both cope with anxiety and prevent it in the first place.
Maintain An Active Lifestyle
One of the best natural ways to relieve stress and anxiety is exercise. Exercise can act as a channel to release anxious energy constructively. One 2015 review looked at 12 randomized clinical trials and found that exercise could ease anxiety better than a placebo. Moreover, exercise appeared to be even more effective than other common anxiety treatments.
Easing anxiety after it happens isn’t the only benefit to exercise, though. A 2013 study showed that exercise was an excellent way to prevent anxiety from ever developing in the first place. Specifically, exercise can release neurotransmitters like serotonin, endocannabinoids, and more. These “feel-good” molecules literally change your brain chemistry, forcibly easing stress and worry.
Try Some Cbd
One natural way that you may be able to help yourself is with CBD. This compound develops in hemp plants as they mature. And while it doesn’t provide any psychoactive “high,” it may bestow another benefit to those suffering from anxiety.
Endocannabinoids are a type of “feel-good” chemical that can send specific impulses through your body. CBD may help you control when you feel better by binding with the same receptors as endocannabinoids. When you consume CBD, it “hacks” your body by impersonating endocannabinoids.
There’s more than just anecdotal evidence to support this theory, too. Research suggests that CBD may be an effective way to alleviate daily stress and worry and full-fledged anxiety disorders. As a result, this tiny molecule could help prevent stress before it arises and ease worry once it occurs. However, do not take this as medical advice. ALWAYS talk to your doctor about adding this supplement to your daily wellness routine.
Practice Mindfulness And Meditation
Countless spiritual practices have incorporated meditation to get calm and collected. But they’re not the only ones. Researchers working on a Johns Hopkins study published in 2014 showed that 30 minutes of meditation daily can “improve symptoms of both anxiety and depression.”
There are countless forms of meditation out there. But Mindfulness Meditation is one of the most common. To do it, close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. Then, let thoughts pass through your mind like leaves on a stream. Don’t interfere or interact with these thoughts. Just watch, observe, and let them go once they pass.
Begin Your Contemplative Journey With Relive Everyday
Are you interested in exploring mindfulness and meditation but are unsure of where to start? I can help you take the first steps down your contemplative path.
As a Somatic Release practitioner, I’ve been trained to help my clients release their anxiety through the intentional and gentle release of muscle tension. The Somatic Release technique also recognizes that each human processes stress in their own way and works to help each practitioner work through anxiety using their own emotional tools.